Read that title very carefully. I have a tendency to carry guilt about making decisions that are best for me. As I grow wiser, I'm learning that guilt is a weight I'm unwilling to carry. That being said...I've gone my separate way in a few relationships/friendships/whatever you want to call them; for a number of reasons. The space didn't feel safe anymore. Things weren't transparent anymore. I didn't feel whole anymore. Even though feelings aren't facts - they're valid and they're what gets us into relationships and ultimately, pulls us out.
It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend -William Blake
I had to stop telling myself, "I lost a friend." At the point of my departure, we weren't. Familiarity isn't friendship. I had to go back to the definition and see if we were meeting the requirements. I determined, I was their friend but they weren't mine. I would give them the benefit of the doubt & they wouldn't return the favor. I would go through hell & high water for them, with a smile on my face & they couldn't save me an ounce of respect. They were certainly providing things, but most of which I didn't need. Some were baiting me with comments that was pulling me back to who I was instead of pushing me toward the better person I was becoming.
You don't participate in a friendship anticipating the end. And when it comes to Best Friends Forever, sometimes forever is one conversation. One smart remark too many. One good wound in a bad place. Sometimes forever is temporary. And our language contributes to how willing we are to hold on or let go. When you say the word friend, guilt washes over you. Nobody wants to lose friends or throw them away. But when you say, I chose a different path. I wanted something else. I didn't like the way he/she carried themselves. I wanted something he/she could not offer. This is not about "that's just the way he/she is." This is about the way I am right now.
just because you are the topic of conversation doesn't you have to jump into it.
As your standards and needs change, restructuring happens. I like to call it Life's Renovations. And I've often let guilt or the fear of hard work (you know spring cleaning ain't easy) keep me from doing them. But within the last year, applying 30 seconds of insane courage to get the first sentence out - NO, I'm not doing this with you - has enabled me to have the tough conversations; the kind of conversations that break your heart. And I've learned the exact opposite - how to shut the fuck up. Oh, she/he said what? Not saying a word. He/She thinks I did it because of who? Not saying a word. What he/she thinks is none of my business and requires none of my participation. I'm saying this like it's easy. It's incredibly hard to get out of the mindset that just because you are the topic of conversation, you should jump into it.
Speaking and remaining silent are equally as hard sometimes. Whatever you decide, however, must be done out of love - not for them but for yourself. If the conversation doesn't grow you - be quiet. If an explanation will bring you peace, pursue it. But in loving yourself, you learn to go only where you are happy. If you are not happy in a friendship, it isn't a friendship anymore. It's a decaying body. Learn how to bury your dead.